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J.S Bach: Cantatas Vol.4 Double CD

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Product details

  • Conductor: Gardiner
  • Composer: J.S Bach
  • Audio CD (29 Jun. 2009)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Sdg
  • ASIN: B002AHJTIA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,792 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir and The English Baroque Soloists continue on their Bach pilgrimage and head to Ansbach to perform at the prestigious Ansbach Bach Festival. The programme opens with BWV 9 Es ist das Heil uns kommen her. This is then followed by the well known chamber cantata BWV 170 Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust, expertly sung by internationally renowned counter-tenor, Michael Chance. A highlight is the first alto aria - an aria of pure enchantment, which tells, through rich and passionate music, that ''pleasant rest'' can be attained only though union with heaven. The programme ends with the very moving funeral motet Der Gerechte kommt um, attributed to Bach, an incredibly beautiful five-voiced Latin motet composed by Johann Kuhnau. The magnificence of this motet made this very popular with both the choir and orchestra thereby resulting in it being used as a regular encore on the Bach Cantata pilgrimage. Thirty miles east from the hustle and bustle of a busy Edinburgh hosting its world famous festival, we join John Eliot and the Monteverdi forces in the collegiate church of St. Mary's situated in the modest, tranquil market town of Haddington, Scotland. BWV 186 Argre dich, o Seele, nicht, comprises eleven movements and is structured in two parts. A movement that stands out is the glorious duet for soprano and alto (No.10), in which the crucial injunction 'Sei, seele, getreu!' ('O soul, be true!') is reserved until the last two bars. We then hear BWV 107 Was willst du dich betrüben, a chorale cantata set per omnes versus, that is, with all the verses of a hymn set unaltered. Bach here cleverly overcomes the limitations of being confined to a rigidly structured hymn without monotony or repetitiveness through the usual devices of changing the voice type in the arias, the key and the metre. The final chorale, BWV 187 Es wartet alles auf dich is again structured in two parts and comprises of music that is both gentle and seductively beautiful. Bach clearly supports this belief by parodying the music of this cantata a decade later in his G minor Missa (BWV 235).

Review

''Gardiner's Bach is in a class of its own for colour, drama and rhetorical subtlety. His choir and strumentalists respond with breathtaking virtuosity…'' --The Daily Telegraph

''There is a genuine pilgrim's humility about this recording that contrasts tellingly with the magnificence of the achievement. Gardiner has made history.'' --The Times

''This is Bach at a very high level a match for anything else currently available on disc'' --BBC Music Magazine

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By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Jun. 2011
Format: Audio CD
Those (or at any rate their German equivalent) are the very last words sung on this 2-disc issue. They make a convenient and (I hope) neat caption for a review of the set, because it belongs with the best of this great series. For any newcomers, Gardiner and his colleagues dedicated the year 2000 to an international `pilgrimage' in which they performed all Bach's extant cantatas on the liturgical occasions for which he had written them. It would be superfluous to comment on the sheer scale and scope of such an undertaking, but it might be worth saying for the nth time that the standard of the performances is at a level that might be hard to credit. The recordings are live, the performers were to a great extent learning the music as they went along, the opportunities for rehearsal were scant, the sheer travelling must have been exhausting, and yet the results are as good as this.

The cantatas here are for the 6th and 7th Sundays after Trinity, of which two and three respectively survive. Making up some space on the first disc there is a motet by Kuhnau, the arrangement in the form we have here being thought by some to be by Bach. Not so thought by me, I must say, but a pleasant enough piece and new to me. I am getting familiar with the names of the soloists by now, and indeed quite a few of them are famous from other contexts also. In each case the alto soloist is a counter-tenor, and although I am not hugely fond of the counter-tenor sound I am always relieved and encouraged to see the name of Michael Chance. He performs on the first disc, and the strength of tone that I have always associated with him is here unfailingly. I was less familiar with his counterpart Richard Wyn Roberts on disc #2, but again I greatly like his tone, almost suggestive of a high tenor.
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Format: Audio CD
This one features five lesser-known (to me anyway) cantatas, plus one motet, long attributed to Bach, but now known not to be by him. Again, we have the usual high-quality exploration of undeservedly forgotten repertoire, exquisite musical jewels being brought into the light again to shine. Gardiner offers fresh insight into these masterpieces, both in the performance and in his sleeve notes.

It's sad that the journey is coming to a close - there are only about 6 volumes left in the series (assuming that Gardiner does not get permission from DG to re-release the ones already released on Archiv), but the pleasure of this great enterprise will endure.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having heard part of the cantata sung on radio 3, I wanted to buy a copy (sung by Andreas Scholl) to give to a good friend for Christmas. Obviously everyone had the same idea as it was out of stock. This seemed a good alternative, my friend was absolutely delighted and tells me she has played it a lot.I know the choir is superb, and it's a must for anyone who enjoys listening to counter tenors. I did have to apologise for the picture on the cover- when yoy get older you sometimes become somewhat sensetive about these things!
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Epic!! Nearly got the whole set!
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Format: Audio CD
The moon was impaled on the Sword of Orion by the time the Lancaster Bombers of the R.J.A.F. reached the Ruhr Valley. Their target was the Karl Richter Memorial Dam.

"I say, there we are chaps: I can see the target below. We've caught the Hun on the hop!"

This spoke Air Field Marshall Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Attired like Biggles, he was daintily sipping away on an Earl Gray tea in the cockpit of his Mosquito. He turned to the pilot beside him.

"This operation is sure to be a success. I am running out of room on my chest to accommodate all those medals from the Gramophone Magazine but it's a good problem to have."

"Sir, are you that confident of victory?"

"Absolutely! We're no longer using those bouncing bombs by that Wallis fellow. Each one of the planes is loaded with a `Jeggy Jauntiness Bomb'. It is far more effective in blowing away decades of high romanticism, opaque textures and excessive reverence. We're also going to rake the dam wall with the usual armaments: clipped phrasing, sour strings and fast tempi!"

Jeggy turned on the radio.

"Come in everyone - over!"

"E for English Baroque Soloists - over!"

"M for the Monteverdi Choir - over!"

"M2 for Michael Chance - counter-tenor supreme - over!" a high pitch voice shrieked.

"O for Other Soloists - over."

"S for the Soli Deo Gloria production team - over."

"Chaps, you know the plan of attack. We will start with a mundane performance of BWV 9 "Es ist das Heil uns Kommen her" followed by a rapid-fire traversal of BWV 179. A wonderful funeral motet by Johann Kuhnau will follow. If the dam is still standing at that point, we'll unleash acidic performances of BWV 186, 107 & 187.
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